Hola! Warm spring greetings to the SHPE Familia.
For those of you I have not met yet, I am Miguel Alemañy, the current Board Chair for SHPE, a position I’ve held since 2016. I am a Chemical Engineer graduate from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, with extensive business education and experience. My career spanned 40 years at P&G from where I retired in 2019 as Vice President of R&D, managing the Perfume and Flavors division. I currently have my own consulting business in the consumer goods and perfume industries. My involvement with SHPE dates back to 1999 and I firmly believe in the relevance and need of this organization.
While my name may or may not be familiar to you, I am writing now not as SHPE’s Board Chair, but as its Interim CEO, a position I will hold for the next 4-6 months. As you may know, Raquel Tamez, our previous CEO was offered an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. While we are sad to see her go, we are thrilled for her next chapter. I am sure we will be hearing about her great work soon.
This new role, though temporary, is one I am looking forward to taking on with enthusiasm. I had not planned on this, but as Board Chair, I was always ready in case it happened. It is written as a part of our bylaws, after all. My appointment of this position means everything is going according to plan. It is a testament to the fact that SHPE has been set-up to thrive, even in times of change.
I became involved with managing this great organization over a decade ago. At that time I was part of a pivotal transition team that looked at SHPE’s structure and barriers for growth. As an institution, SHPE had been around for almost 30 years by the time I joined. And while it had achieved great success, it was time to prepare it for the next 30.
It was clear that structurally, we needed to think differently about its management - both the day-to-day operations and the long-term execution of the Vision. And so, our Board became a strategic one - filled with a combination of member-elected officers and appointed industry leaders. The CEO was charged with the daily tactical needs of running a national organization and executing the direction of the Board. And though still a nonprofit, we began using a profit-and -loss business model and approach to ensure durable investment and growth.
Six years later, the proof is in the pudding with regards to the realization of these new strategies. We have seen SHPE achieve record growth and financial stability amidst new leadership, different political administrations, and even a worldwide pandemic that has negtively impacted many similar organizations.
Now, while searching for our next CEO, we can be confident that SHPE, as an organization and Familia, will continue to thrive and fulfill its mission with the same determination that led us through the last half-century.
What is next? We’ll be engaging with KornFerry on a 4-to-5-month executive search, and our Board will start revising and drafting the newest iterations of our Strategic Plan. I’ll be ensuring our members experience the same high-quality programming and resources they’ve come to expect. Though a lot of new things are on the horizons, in many ways it’s just going to be the same old, same old - in the best ways possible, of course!
I am honored to continue this important work, and I am so grateful to our staff, Board, partners, and members for consistently demonstrating the power of Hispanics in STEM. I can’t wait to see what we do next.
Onward and upward,
Board Chair and Interim CEO